Do you matter?

Silly question, of course you do! But who thinks that? Your family? Of course! Your friends? Of course! You? Well…?

I’m sure you do, but do you take care of yourself as well as you do your loved ones? Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too philosophical! I’m thinking nutritionally, as ever. Take me for example, I spend hours a week planning and cooking meals, thinking about my children and my husband’s nutritional requirements. Yesterday I dutifully helped my husband take a packed lunch with 2 portions of salad. But what did I have when left to my own devices? You know, the dietitian who has studied nutrition for 4 years undergrad and 4 years part-time post-grad? A cheese sandwich and a packet of crisps! 🙈🙊🙉 Now I’m not saying that was the worst lunch in the world, but yesterday my total fruit and veg count was 1 which is shameful! Our tortoise eats way better than me, hence the photo above!

I’m not for a second suggesting this is a “mum”thing. Before I had children if my husband went out for dinner I used to either have a takeaway or a bowl of cereal. I think that’s enough about me, but surely I’m not the only one! It’s just so difficult to have motivation to look after yourself. It’s so typical of people living on their own to not bother cooking dinner for themselves. In extreme cases this leads to malnutrition, either with people becoming under or overweight.

There has been recent research which was recently in the press which gives more evidence to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes the importance of eating at least 2 portions of vegetables at lunch and dinner and one portion of fruit with each meal as well as other suggestions outlined below.

pyramid

According to UK guidelines we should all be aiming for at least 5 portions of fruit and veg per day. There is some useful information on the NHS choices website.  Ideally we should all be aiming for 7 but sadly, the average person in the UK is unlikely to reach 5.

A portion of fruit or vegetables is approximately a handful and includes one 150ml glass of fruit juice or a smoothie, frozen, fresh and dried. You can find what counts as a portion here.

I propose that we do something to look after ourselves. We are important and we do matter! I’m going to start tweeting and putting on Facebook how many portions of fruit and veg I eat per day with the hashtag #myhealthmatters even if it’s terrible! When I was in university a friend and I had a daily competition of how many portions we ate per day. It sounds silly but it really improved my intake of fruit and veg. Plus, there’s only so much rubbish you can eat when you’re trying to fit in extra portions. Therefore this is going to be my daily motivation to improve my health and look after myself better. Why don’t you join me? You don’t have to count portions of fruit and veg if you already eat lots, you could put your step count or water intake, whatever is important to you. You don’t even have to do it every day, this isn’t a gimmick or a 30 day challenge. This is an attempt to nudge us into better habits.

Don’t forget how much you matter! Join me with #myhealthmatters and let’s create some healthy habits.

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